Advancement & Public Services

A Look Back at WIU Through the Years images

March 11-17


March 11: Banquet Held for Normal School Faculty and Macomb Citizens

A social banquet and ball was thrown for WISNS employees and Macomb citizens at the Opera House. The event’s purpose was to allow the two groups to meet and get to know each other better. Macomb business leader C.V. Chandler organized and hosted the banquet.

March 17: St. Patrick's Day Party Held

WISNS faculty celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by hosting a party for students.


March 11: Committee Visits State Normal School

A junketing committee from the State Legislature visited the State Normal School. While they were on campus, Committee Chair and State Representative Claude Lacy addressed the students and faculty on the importance of normal schools for the education of Illinois’ youth. After the speech, the committee toured the school grounds and had dinner with President Morgan.

March 16: Grote Returns Presidential Inauguration

Dean of Women Caroline Grote spoke to students at chapel about her recent trip to Atlantic City to attend the Deans of Women of the United States Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, followed by the inauguration of Warren G. Harding as the 29th President of the United States.

March 17: Folk Dance and Gymnastics Clinic Held

Professor Ruth Glassow and volunteers from women’s physical education classes held a clinic offering lessons in folk dancing or basic gymnastics for Macomb’s junior and senior high students.


March 12: Food Laboratory Kitchens Remodeled

The Home Economics Department’s food labs remodeling was completed, which included the installation of four new kitchenettes, new deep freezers, industrial sinks and utility tables.

March 14: Horrabin Announced as New Training School Principal

Waldo Horrabin was announced as the successor to Warren Covert as the training school principal effective July 1. Horrabin had been at Western since 1928, serving first as a junior high science teacher.

March 16: Interior Design Class Practices with Macomb Homes

Nine Macomb families volunteered their homes to serve as “project houses” for the interior design and decoration class. After touring the homes, the students designed new interiors, complete with furniture, wall colors and textures for one room in each house. The new rooms were finished by the end of the semester.


March 11: Business Hall of Fame Receives $5,000 Grant

The Illinois Business Hall of fame, which was based at Western Illinois University, received a $5,000 grant from the DeKalb AgResearch Center to generate interest in the field of agriscience.

March 13: Western's Office of Public Safety Participates in Charity Basketball Game

Several officers from the Office of Public Safety (OPS) participated in a charity basketball tournament along with several other local police departments. The proceeds went to updating and refurbishing the library of St. Paul’s School in Macomb.

March 14: Spring Break Begins at Western

March 14 marked the first day of spring break, which lasted from March 14-22.

March 4-10


March 6: Training School Class Hatches Chicks

The training school’s fifth grade class, taught by Cora Hamilton, hatched 37 chicks. The class used an incubator on 44 chicken eggs and sold the hatched chicks for 10 cents each.

March 9: Strange Lizards

Several strange lizards, found in Kiljordan Creek by a Macomb resident, were brought to the Normal School for identification. Biology Professor Homer Roberts identified the lizards as mud puppies, a type of salamander.


March 4: State Normal School Holds "Visiting Day" for McDonough County Teachers

Teachers from throughout McDonough County visited campus to explore the college, visit classrooms and participate in such discussions as the importance of teaching English literature, presented by Professor Samuel Hursh.

March 5: Shower Held for President's Daughter

A shower was held at Grote Hall in honor of the engagement of President Morgan’s daughter Mildred to Ernest Roth of LaSalle. Students and staff were invited to the celebration.

March 8: Women's Athletic Association Organized

The women of the State Normal School formed the Normal Women’s Athletic Association. Any female student who was interested in competing in any sport was encouraged to join.


March 5: Western Students Off for Spring Break

March 5 marked the first day of WIU’s spring break. Students returned to class March 12.

March 10: Business Convention Held at Western

The annual Western Illinois Business Teachers Convention was held at Western Illinois State College. Numerous presentations were held, such as how to better prepare students to succeed in the business field, and several new office machines were displayed and demonstrated for the teachers in attendance.


March 4: Western Gets New Greek Restaurant

The WIU and Macomb communities had another food choice with the opening of the Greek restaurant, The Souvlaki House. The restaurant, located at 320 W. Adams St. (current location of Chubby’s), focused on attracting a college crowd with its low prices and late hours. The Souvlaki House served traditional Greek fair, such as gyros, spinach pies and shish-ka-bobs, as well as pizza for the less adventurous diners.

March 7-8: Western Hosts Basketball Regional, Loses in Championship

Western Hall was packed all weekend as WIU hosted the Great Lakes Regional of the NCAA Division II tournament. Western, Wright State, Northern Michigan and Indiana State-Evansville played in the regional. The Leathernecks made it to the championship game, but lost 80-73 to Northern Michigan. WIU's final record was 21-7 for the 1980-81 basketball season.

March 9: Inter-hall Council Eliminates Dorm Services

Due to continuing budget cuts, the Inter-Hall Council (IHC) voted to eliminate or cut-back several services in the dorms beginning in Fall 1981. It was decided that the on-duty librarian position would be eliminated, premium weekend meals would be reduced to twice a month and only one dining center per quad would be open on weekends.

February 25-March 3


Feb. 27: Several Students Fall Ill with "The Grip"

More than one dozen students at the State Normal School were out sick with a disease that was sweeping the country. "The Grip," (actually called Grippe) was a form of influenza that originated in France and arrived in the U.S. during the winter of 1902-03.


Feb. 28: Piano Recital Held

The school’s music department held a piano recital for the school during chapel. Approximately 12 of the department’s students participated in the event.

March 1: Students Begin Campaign for Hot Lunches

The students in Professor Ruth Glassow’s Physical Education 25 class began a campaign for the implementation of hot lunches for Normal School and Academy students. Some of the tactics they used to draw attention to their cause were posters, petition sheets and talks during chapel.The leader of the 1921 oratory speaking team, Gabino Tabunar, an international student from the Philippines

March 3: Western Sends Team to State Oratorical Contest

The Western Illinois State Normal School wished their oratory speaking team good luck as they left for the annual Tournament of Illinois State Normal Schools in Bloomington. The contest was held every year between all Illinois Normal Schools and was always closely contested. The leader of Western’s team that year was Gabino Tabunar, an international student from the Philippines.


Feb. 25: Professor Speaks Before National Education Association

Arthur Olsen returned to Macomb after a trip to speak before the National Association of Childhood Education. Olsen spoke on the preparedness of the United States and the effect on the education system should the U.S. choose to use isolationism as a defense against Russian communism.

Feb. 26: Board Meets to Discuss School Improvements

The Illinois Teacher College Board met in Springfield to discuss the purchase of 80 acres for the college farm and planning for the construction of a science building.

Feb. 28: Teacher-Librarian Certification

Western Illinois State College announced that the school would create a new teacher-librarian certification program beginning in Fall 1951. The move was made in response to the call by the Illinois State Superintendent of Public Institutions for more teacher-librarians at the elementary and secondary levels.

1981Western's top performer, Diane Heydt, was part of the record-breaking and national qualifying 200 meter medley team.

Feb. 25: Swim Team Breaks 12 Records, Qualifies for Nationals

The Western women’s swim team had a great performance at the swimming and diving meet at Illinois State, breaking 12 school records and qualifying four girls for the NCAA national swimming and diving competition. Western’s top performer Diane Heydt was part of the record-breaking and national qualifying 200 meter medley team. She also broke school records in the 50, 100 and 200 meter backstroke.

Feb. 28: Over 35,000 Parking Tickets Issued During Fall Semester

University Parking Services issued 35,983 tickets for parking violations, totaling $94,109 in fines, during the fall semester. Parking Services Coordinator Edith Mitchell said that the school was on pace to easily break 50,000 tickets issued for the year, which was typical when compared to other universities in Illinois.

March 3: SGA Approves Increase in Athletic Fee

After two hours of debating, the Student Government Association (SGA) approved an increase in the athletic fee charged to WIU students beginning in the 1981-82 school year. The fee was increased from $20 a year to $32 in order to help WIU improve its facilities and talent quality as it prepared to make the move from NCAA Division II to Division I.

February 18-24


Feb. 19: State Senator Tours State Normal School

Illinois State Sen. Orville F. Berry of Carthage visited the State Normal School. The senator toured the Main Building and then met with President Henninger and several of the school's trustees.

Feb. 23: Emersonian Society Holds Program for Washington's Birthday

The Emersonian Literary Society held a program called "Liberty" in honor of the birthday of George Washington. The program focused on the principles of American freedom and democracy.


Feb. 18-19: Academy Holds Sixth Annual Basketball Tournament

The Academy School at Western Illinois State Normal School hosted its annual high school basketball tournament. For the third consecutive year, Macomb High School won the two-day, 25 team tournament. The host school, Academy, lost to its cross-town rival (Macomb High) in the tournament's quarter-finals.

Feb. 20: Professor Currens Earns Ph.D. in Chemistry

Western Normal Professor Fred Currens became the second teacher at the school to receive a doctorate degree. The chemistry degree was conferred upon Professor Currens from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Professor Currens had been serving as head of the chemistry and physics departments since his arrival at Western in 1913.


Feb. 18: Sociology Class Tours Prison

Professor Harriet Stull’s Sociology 449 class toured the Iowa State Prison in Ft. Madison, Iowa.

Feb. 19: Men's Basketball Team Breaks Scoring Record

The Western men’s basketball team broke the school record for most points scored in a game during a win at Northern Illinois. The Leathernecks won by a score of 94-59, breaking the old record of 91 points in a game. Bill Boyer led the team in scoring with 18 points.


Feb. 19: SGA Holds Meeting at President's Residence

The Student Government Association (SGA) held its regular meeting at the home of WIU President Leslie Malpass. President Malpass invited the SGA into his home because he wished to address the SGA on the news that the school was seeking to increase its annual budget by 10 percent and the effects it would have on WIU students if approved. Other topics that were discussed included the building of a performing arts center and the possibility of starting a bus service.

Feb. 21: Western Defeats Eastern to Take Mid-Continent Conference Crown and Post-Season Bid

The Leatherneck men’s basketball team beat Eastern Illinois in a 69-68 game to claim the 1981 Mid-Continent Conference title. The game was played in Western Hall in front of a standing-room only crowd of 8,003 fans (current all-time attendance record). By winning the conference championship, Western earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II postseason tournament.